May 14, 2021

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The U.S. denies a prisoner exchange deal with Iran

White House
Iran’s state television quoted a source on Sunday (2nd) as saying that the Biden administration has agreed to pay Iran US$7 billion and exchanged four US spies

The United States denies a report by Iran’s National Television that Tehran has reached an agreement to exchange prisoners with the United States and Britain and agreed to unfreeze its 7 billion U.S. dollars (about 9.3 billion Singapore dollars) funds deposited in other countries.

Iran’s state television quoted a source on Sunday (2nd) as saying that the Biden administration has agreed to pay Iran US$7 billion and exchanged four US spies for four Iranians detained in violation of US sanctions.

The report also said that after the British government repaid 400 million pounds of debt to Iran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who holds dual British-Iranian citizenship, would be released.

According to VOA, US State Department spokesperson Price said that the report is not true. “As we said, we always bring cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We can reunite them with their families. We will not stop before.”

White House Chief of Staff Klein also denied the Iranian report. In an interview with CBS, he said: “There is currently no agreement to release these four Americans. We are working hard to get them released.”

When inquired, the British Foreign Office said in a low-key manner that the UK will continue to explore various solutions. “Since legal discussions are still going on, we will not make further comments.”

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Lavanhi, also said that the report has not been confirmed, adding that Iran has been calling on the United States to exchange prisoners with it.

Zaghari Ratcliffe’s lawyer said she was sentenced to an additional year in prison last week for participating in a protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009. The new sentence came after she was sentenced to five years in Iran for conspiring to overthrow the Iranian government, and she denies the accusation.

Iran said that since the United States imposed sanctions on it in 2018, its $20 billion in oil revenues stored in South Korea, Iraq and China have been frozen.

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